This year, it is a bizarre feeling to wake up at home and around familiar faces.¬† For 6 days now I‚??ve been around family and friends and it‚??s been like a transitional period between puregolf and the ‚??real world‚??.¬† But now the final road trip has begun, it is 630am and I‚??m sitting on the interislander after very little sleep in Jucy at the terminal and am very much in the twilight zone.
This note is looking back a week or so ago to the day at Ashburton GC which began waking up in my folks place, having a coffee and then making a swift exit one hour South to ‚??Ashvegas‚?Ě.¬†¬† A friend we‚??ve met on our travels was staying with us, Andreas, who is traveling down under from his home in Sweden.¬† Andreas made the trip to Ashburton and so JP and I jumped in his rental car ‚?? a day without Jucy‚?¶ or so we thought.¬† Bart?¬† He was crook in bed, perhaps with the man flu? Perhaps the effects of Dunedin catching up on him?¬† Or perhaps he has just hit the wall from 3 months of travel.
On the drive down the sky was grey and Andreas was worried about the weather.¬† I explained to him that outside was a Canterbury weather phenomenon called the Nor‚??wester and that it would be hot, windy, dry and would make you go crazy‚?¶..
We were welcomed at Ashburton by club president, Murray and a dozen or so locals were out to join us for the round.¬† We¬† all played a stableford match which had its moments because of the ferocity of the wind.¬† Hurtling in at around 100kph it was like the course, and the whole of the Canterbury plains were being sapped of moisture before our eyes.¬† The new greenkeeper was hurrying around trying to hand water the greens..
Ashburton GC is a great wee country track.¬† On a flat piece of land it is a tree lined course and an easy walk.¬† But where it stands out from other country courses is that its greens have a little bit going on: some are elevated, some have false fronts, others are tiny or pitched. And they roll very well.¬† There are also a smattering of bunkers which keep everyone on their toes.
I‚??m going to keep this brief, but one moment of note was on the par five 17th hole. Straight down the wind the hole matches my shot shape so I launched it high in the air off the tee.¬† The ball bounded down the fairway to a couple of metres short of the green.¬† I opted to putt and so was standing there for a first time, ever, over a putt to get into the albatross club.¬† What happened next doesn‚??t need to be shared on the blog as I like to keep things positive and my relationship with my putter has endured this long I don‚??t want to jinx it.
Ashburton GC were fantastic hosts.¬† They‚??d invited people from around the area along today and they‚??d run a hat around on Saturday drumming up some donations for The First Tee..¬† Afterwards we all sat around in the clubbies and shared a beer, a sausage and told a few stories.¬† It was a great club feeling with a committed professional and shop staff, plenty of juniors around (including a couple NZ reps from this small town) and the dozen or more women out to include us in their ladies day.¬† Andreas had playd with Murray and told me how proud Murray was of the course, and the new developments around the place such as the driving range and fairway irrigation.¬†¬† So then with Christmas shopping to do we thanked everyone for a memorable day and it was time to go‚?¶
[above - Andreas telling Helen all about Sweden]
But then as we got up the car key, formerly on the table in the clubrooms was nowhere to be seen.¬† Andreas had put it next to JP‚??s ginger beer. Now it wasn‚??t there. Nor‚??wester blowing in, three dehydrated lads and the car key missing in action.¬† Double checking we turned every thing we had inside out.¬† No key.¬† After 3 hours of putting practice, sleeping and some more putting practice later we had gone entirely crazy.¬† The wind kept blowing.¬† Bart was our savior and drove down to Ashburton with a spare key from the rental company.¬† But of course, Bart had all kinds of issues getting down.¬† Vehicles had tipped on the road in the wind, and Jucy, buffering against the wind churned through the gas in the car at such an alarming rate that Bart turned up on foot.¬† He‚??d run out of petrol.¬† Debacle.¬† So some 12 hours after our day began we were home, Andreas footing a serious bill for the lost keys.¬†
Bart was knackered and asleep within minutes but I had to salvage the afternoon so took Andreas for a tour of CHCH along with old pals Ed and James T. ¬†¬†Andreas was leaving NZ the next day so a good night out was a far better way to end his trip than the Nor‚??wester / Car debacle of hours earlier. Until tomorrow at Waitikiri.¬†
Posting comments has been disabled.